Need To Know: Grum
By Gregory Miller
Meet Grum. The Scottish musician's unique brand of feel good dance music ' including his single 'Sound Reaction' and a remix of Lady Gaga's monster hit 'Bad Romance' -- already has critics on both side of the pond hailing him as the next big thing in electronic music. His full-length album is due out in the U.S. early this year and until then he's keeping himself busy remixing songs for Passion Pit, Priors, Chelley, and Friendly Fires. Recently we caught up with the beat-meister to talk about his futuristic high-tech cover art, Lady Gaga, and buying his wardrobe at the Jonas Brothers' merch table.
How did you get into electronic music?
I guess when I was a younger, when I was like 14 or 15, trance music was really big in Europe. That was like the big thing. I really liked it. I liked the melodies and the production. That got me interested in it.
There are so many electronic musicians these days. How do you set yourself apart?
I really like to just do my own thing and draw on my influences, and use them to create something new, I guess. I think a lot of electronic producers like to copy what's big at the time. They never really focus that much on the music. I think with me, that's something I like to [do]. I'm not too concerned with whether it's cool or if it will sound like the top 10. I'm just happy to keep making music that I like.
Your name -- Grum -- does that mean something?
It started out as a nickname when I was beginning. I don't know if it was because one day I was grumpy or something like that. [Laughs.] But, you know, it was a bit of a nickname thing. And I was making my MySpace page and I thought yeah, that sounds good.
Did MySpace play a big part in the start of your career?
Yeah, I think if it weren't for MySpace, then I wouldn't be where I am now. I would maybe be there, but it would take a lot longer. It has allowed me to kind of have a worldwide popularity. People from all over the world have heard my music, and they've booked me to play in their countries. So it's allowed me to travel and play gigs all over the place.
Coming off of that, Hype Machine claims that you're the second most blogged about act in the world after Radiohead. Why do you think that is?
I don't know really. I think people are kind of ready for my sort of music right now. The last two or three years, we've had the big, noisy kind of dance music. [The] phase was digital stuff, like Justice and stuff like that. And that's big, grinding noisy music. And maybe what I'm trying to do is a bit happier, a bit more fun to dance to. Maybe not as serious, but good music to listen to. So I think people are ready for a bit of a change now.
How excited were you to do an official remix of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance?'
[Laughs.] Extremely. That was incredible. I was amazed that they asked me to do it. I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of Lady Gaga, but obviously she has a very individual voice, and obviously that's a huge offer.
How did that happen? Did they approach you?
Yeah, I think they just got in touch with my manager -- the label. And we just did it.